Just how bad has the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic been?
According to Brookings Institution economics researcher Harry Holzer, the United States’ current death count could have been conceivably cut in half if the country had delivered even an average performance compared with other countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In looking at global COVID-19 data, Holzer found that “overall virus cases per capita in the U.S. are now over four times higher in the U.S. than in the average high-income OECD country, while total deaths per capita are over twice as high.”
And while other OECD countries have seen surges in cases per capita so far this month, they are still not on par with the average number of per-capita cases in the United States, which has also posted per-capita deaths this month that are five times the average of other OECD countries.
“Both U.S. employment and health outcomes during the pandemic have been worse than what we find in virtually all other high-income countries around the world,” he writes. “Had we been as successful in each measure as the other OECD countries, nearly nine million more Americans would be employed and over 100,000 would still be alive.”